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Noble & Shell Failed to Evacuate Sinking Drillship, Crew Says

A report on KLFY.com says that crew members on the Globetrotter II, a drillship owned by Noble Corp. and leased by Shell, don’t know when they’re going to be rescued. An anonymous crew member said that Noble and Shell were supposed to evacuate them and never did. As a result, 100+ crew members been forced to ride out Hurricane Ida over 100 miles from shore while getting pummeled by 80-foot waves and 150 mph winds.

“I was watching grown men with life jackets hold on for dear life crying in the hallway. It was bad,” the anonymous crew member said.

Photos sent from the drillship show entire lockers and heavy gym equipment scattered across the floor. As we wrote earlier today, the ship’s hull has been breached. The pumps are trying to discharge water as quickly as it’s coming in, but the vessel is leaning. While the ship hasn’t capsized yet, it’s come close.

Abandoned by Shell & Noble

The drillship crew member went on to share a shocking fact: Noble and Shell waited until the morning Hurricane Ida arrived before attempting evacuation. “They got with us too late. We tried to run away, but it was right on our tail. There was no running from it, so we got hit with the full force,” the crew member said. Four people were injured from the hurricane, but they were able to be evacuated to receive medical care.

But even once the brunt of the storm passed, the damage to the rig presented another serious hazard. The force of Hurricane Ida left damage to the cranes, electrical wiring, and chemical storage. The crew has been unable to leave their living quarters. Meanwhile, Shell and Noble have stopped contacting the ship. “Nobody’s telling us anything,” he said.

Another crew member speculates that they were left on the drillship due to the expense of evacuating the crew and then returning them after the storm. Shell and Noble have given conflicting accounts: Shell insists that they’re establishing a place to land helicopters so they can change out the crew, but Noble says the heli-deck is fully operational; they’re just waiting for charter helicopter service to resume.

Whatever the truth is, both Noble and Shell owed these men and women a safe and timely evacuation. Instead, they were forced to endure one of the most powerful storms in Louisiana history without support, communication, or any idea of what would happen to them. The men who were injured or harmed due to their inaction deserve justice.

But right now, all they need is a way home.

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